Man, are you cats even paying attention to the Festival Scene up in Canada right now? Despite being announced as a smaller scale event this year Kinetik has put together a murderer’s row of acts for 2013, while on the left side Terminus has been gradually filling out a dream come true line-up that isn’t even half-announced but is already blowing our ever loving minds. It’s an embarrassment of riches to say the least. Way back in 2008 I sent Bruce an e-mail with a link to the Kinetik 1.0 website with a message that read: “In Canada? Is this a thing?” Some 5 years later, yeah, I think we can safely say it’s a thing. True North motherfuckers, I’m a go back to figuring out how to budget for all this craziness, enjoy some new tunes while I do!

In the future men will be enslaved, prized for their proficiency at optimizing distortion in effects chains.

Voster, “Takeover”
Whoo doggies! Scott from iVardensphere, Yann from Iszoloscope and Jamie from ESA come together like Lego to form Voster! Now, all three of those acts are known for being a mite harsh and heavy on occasion, but this is actually a pretty agile dancefloor number, more lean-muscled panther stalking its prey than tank rolling over everything in it’s path if you feel me. The recently christened project is giving this one away for free over at the Resistanz Bandcamp, where the upstart British festival has been teasing out their 2013 compilation track by track. Speaking of which, Voster will be making their live debut at said event, which runs March 29-31 in Sheffield. I’ll be in attendance, and am pretty psyched to watch this Commonwealth collab tear shit up for reals.

Blush Response, “Voices”
NYC’s Blush Response have got their own thing going on musically, which is something I wish I could say about more bands. The new track “Voices” is on some Dive style distorted electro grooves and weird processed vocals (but not in the typical harsh whisper mode), while the previous single from the soon to be released Tenson Strategies went with a more straightforward, although still pleasingly gritty electro-rock stylee. I like when a band can dabble in different styles without sounding unfocused, eager to hear if that carries over to the album, which drops in March on Tundra.

In Death it Ends, “Disavow”
More mostly instrumental bleakness from former Rosetta Stone guy Porl King. Although PK’s legacy as second wave gawth-rock royalty comes with its own built in audience, I think the folks who are losing their business over acts like Soft Moon will find a lot to like here, all flanged bass and drums groove grinding away into oblivion, shrouded with sinister overtones that suit the project’s occult imagery. The full length materializes from the nether realms on February 28th, and judging from this cut it’s gonna be a dark ride.

Spetsnaz, “Fake!”
Years back, before I even knew there was such a thing as anhalt or neo-oldschool body music, I knew about Spetsnaz. Largely absent since the pretty excellent Deadpan in 2007, these Swedes will be staging their comeback on March 1st with the release of For Generations to Come on Scanner. There ain’t no shortage of bands doing this sound these days, but I think Spetsnaz have always had an ear for the subtleties of the genre that are often obscured by EBM’s grr-grr muscle n’ hate exterior.

Cryogenic Echelon, “Pandora”
I haven’t yet been able to get a handle on Australia’s Cryogenic Echelon, by the group’s own admission they’ve been experimenting a lot to see what suits them musically. I’d be happy to hear more peppy futurepop like this from them; ably assisted by vProjekt’s Eugene Nesci, this track is bright, bubbly, and has a pleasantly wistful vocal hook. Plus, that processed female backing vocal is stickier than that goop they used to use to attach perfume ads to the inside’s of pretty lady magazines. Go cop the EP on Bandcamp, and be treated to some hot clubmixes by XP8, Modulate, Vicious Alliance and Uberbyte.

Die Krupps, “Risikofaktor”
Oooh, and capping things off with the new single from venerable German act Die Krupps, who are revisiting their EBM roots, albeit with contemporary production and some hints of their metal years poking in on the chorus. Certainly feels like they still got it, and I probably shouldn’t be surprised: I saw them play a blistering set a couple years back (including a pretty rad moment where I got to yell “GERMANIAC” into the mic) that made a strong case for them as an ongoing concern despite the more than 15 years since their last album of original material. Watch the video, then watch this space for our findings regarding the long-awaited new record, information on which seems to be kinda scarce.

DIE KRUPPS – Risikofaktor (2013 Music Video in HD) from Rogelio Salinas on Vimeo.